Endowed Chair Appointment

It is our pleasure to announce that, in recognition of his career achievements, Dr. Michael Calter has been appointed to the endowed Beach Professorship of Chemistry, established in 1880.

Headshot of Dr. Michael Calter wearing a blue shirt in his office.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Calter!

Michael A. Calter received his BS from University of Vermont and his PhD from Harvard University. His work is in synthetic organic chemistry, for which he has received numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). His research has been published in the top organic chemistry journals, and he serves as referee, reviewer, and panel member for several journals and funding agencies including Journal of the American Chemical Society and Journal of Organic Chemistry. He has consistently achieved teaching excellence in the sophomore-level organic chemistry sequence and he received the 2015 Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

Commencement 2022


Graduates toss their caps into the air at the 190th Commencement

Twenty four degrees in Chemistry were awarded on May 22nd at the 190th Commencement. Join us in congratulating our new alumni!

Ph.D.
Andrea Gar Ting Lee
Sean Patrick McDarby
Jozafina Milicaj

M.A.
Giana Marie Argento
Akossiwa Brynn Assignon
Lucan Dresden Mani

B.A.
Colleen Michelle Carrigan
Oliver Cho
Anissa Tamilla Findley
Anna Pienza Friedman
Corin Louise Grady
Caitlin Eileen Grant
Mitchell Reuben Green
Sterre Nadine Hesseling
Nadiya Jaunbocus
Dylan Robert Judd
Mia Sunae Kim
Julia Lynnn Slamin Lanfear
Nabiha Syed
Dylan Robert Sylvester
Sally Landon Mossman Tepper
Mohammed Arfat Ullah
Annika Bo Velez
Sophie May Wazlowski

Class of 2020 In-Person Commencement

Graduates from the Class of 2020 finally convened for an in-person commencement celebration on Sunday, June 5th. These alumni reunited after being separated at the end of their Wesleyan careers due to the global pandemic. Join us in celebrating the Class of 2020!

Graduates toss their caps into the air at the 188th Commencement

Ph.D.
Melissa Elizabeth King
Yoana Throssell

B.A.

Anik Macy Bernstein
Yin-Tung Chen
Daniel JongHwa Chung
Calvin Robert Coffey
Joshua Crane
May Do
Alexandra Nicole Goss
Liam Nathan Isaacs
Alexander James Kapphahn
Miranda Lillie Nestor
Dillon James Noone
Josephine Margaret Russ
Anastasia C. Saar
Iman Iqbal Sigman
Rochelle Barrie Spencer
Katherine Hanson Sundberg
Sydney Maya Taylor-Klaus
Aryan K. Vavila
Claire Jing Jing Wang
Sonja Maria Welch
Jaina Sarris Wollowitz

Rewatch the 2020 Commencement

 

Chemistry Majors Elected to Phi Beta Kappa

Spring 2022 elections to Wesleyan’s Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa have been announced, and it is with great pleasure that we recognize

Dylan Robert Judd and Mia Sunae Kim.

To be elected, a student must first have been nominated by the department of their major. The student also must have demonstrated curricular breadth by having met the General Education Expectations and must have achieved a GPA of 93 or above.

The emblem contains the three Greek letters “Phi,” “Beta,” and “Kappa,” which are the initials of the Greek motto, Philosophia Biou Kybernetes, or “the love of wisdom is the guide of life.”


Dylan Robert Judd, 2022
Chemistry, Environmental Sciences


Mia Sunae Kim, 2022
Chemistry

Induction will take place on May 21, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. in the Memorial Chapel.

PhD Celebration – Dr. Sean McDarby & Dr. Jozafina Milicaj

The Chemistry Department gathered at the beginning of the month to celebrate two of our graduate students who completed their PhD defenses this semester – Dr. Sean McDarby and Dr. Jozafina Milicaj.


Boston Cream Cake for Sean McDarby


Dr. Michelle Personick delivers a few remarks


Dr. Jozafina Milicaj pops a bottle of champagne 


Dr. Jozafina Milicaj & Dr. Sean McDarby


Dr. Erika Taylor & Dr. Jozafina Milicaj 


Tiramisu Cake for Jozafina Milicaj


Dr. Erika Taylor & Dr. Jozafina Milicaj 

Sean McDarby Receives PhD


Dr. Sean McDarby

Dr. Sean McDarby recently defended his Ph.D and thesis entitled, “Synthesis and Measurement of Noble Metal Nanoparticles with Well Defined Shapes by Electrochemical and Electroless Approaches.” Sean started at Wesleyan University in 2015 after completing his BS in Chemistry at Southern Connecticut State University where he conducted research under Dr. Gerald Lesley. His undergraduate research focused on the synthesis of novel MOF precursors involving the manipulation of air-free inorganic pathways. Upon starting at Wesleyan University, Sean joined the research lab of Dr. Michelle Personick and began a project to develop a new method to electrochemically synthesize shaped noble metal nanoparticles. The project was quickly successful, and the method was transitioned into a cyclical tool to create shaped nanoparticles by collecting electrochemical data about any particle growth reaction and translate that to either an electrochemical or colloidal approach. Further work involved the creation of novel shaped nanoparticles, mostly with palladium in both systems. Having completed his degree at Wesleyan, Sean will be starting his career as a federal contractor for Universities Space Research Association at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio where he is joining the Microgravity Sciences division and is focusing on the production and applications of boron nitride for space and aeronautics.

Jozafina Milicaj Receives PhD


Dr. Jozafina Milicaj 

Dr. Jozafina Milicaj recently defended her Ph.D. and presented her work entitled, “Biophysical Exploration of Heptosyltransferase I for Potent Inhibitor Discovery.” Jozie started at Wesleyan University in 2015 after completing her BA in Chemistry at Manhattanville College where she was heavily involved with the American Chemical Society chapter and even holding the position as president for her senior year.  Jozie’s undergraduate research project was focused on analytical chemistry and the quantification of antioxidants from açaí berry sources through various extraction methods and UV-Vis radical capture assays. Upon starting at Wesleyan University, Jozie joined the research lab of Dr. Erika Taylor and began working on projects pertaining to Heptosyltransferase I substrate biosynthesis and optimization. Her projects then shifted to understanding and biophysically characterizing HepI and other glycosyltransferases like MshA for the purposes of inhibition of HepI. Having completed her degree at Wesleyan, Jozie will soon be starting her career in industry at Ginkgo Bioworks, a biotech company in Cambridge that professes in novel protein engineering where she will be characterizing and kinetically examining new proteins of interest.

Chemistry Major Elected to Phi Beta Kappa

Fall 2021 elections to Wesleyan’s Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa have been announced, and it is with great pleasure that we recognize Julia Lynne Lanfear.

To be elected, a student must first have been nominated by the department of his or her major. The student also must have demonstrated curricular breadth by having met the General

Education Expectations and must have achieved a GPA of 93 or above.

The emblem contains the three Greek letters “Phi,” “Beta,” and “Kappa,” which are the initials of the Greek motto, Philosophia Biou Kybernetes, or “the love of wisdom is the guide of life.”

 

Julia Lynne Lanfear, 2022
Biology, Chemistry 

Elected students will be honored at an induction ceremony on Wednesday, December 8, 2021 at 4:30p.m. in Allbritton 311.

Chemistry Alumnus Jessica Garcia Awarded Eastman Chemical Company Fellowship

Jessica Garcia, a 2021 graduate of the BA/MA program in Chemistry, was recently awarded a fellowship through the University of North Carolina. The Eastman Chemical Company Fellowship program is a newly established award bestowed to first year graduate students at UNC for their committed effort to enhance the departmental mission to create a diverse and inclusive community. Sponsored by the Eastman Chemical Company, Eastman Fellows receive a stipend that supports the continuation of their contributions to the Carolina Chemistry community.  Jessica is among six students who were awarded this prestigious fellowship. Join us in congratulating her on this momentous achievement!

Personick Wins Silver (and more) at USRowing Masters National Championships


Dr. Personick & teammates

From August 12-15th, Prof. Personick competed at the USRowing Masters National Championships on Melton Lake in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The weather was hot, but the water was flat and cold—perfect for racing and keeping cool. Her team, Riverfront Recapture, won medals in 46 events – 24 gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze – a team record. After a fog delay each morning, Prof. Personick raced to win one silver medal (women’s open B four with coxswain*) and three bronze medals (women’s club A four with coxswain, mixed AA four with coxswain, and mixed B eight). She also finished fourth in the women’s open A four with coxswain and fifth in the women’s open A single sculls.

All of these finishes contributed points to Riverfront’s success in the team points competitions. The team won the men’s points trophy and finished second for club points, third for overall points (out of 112 teams), and second for the efficiency competition (points per athlete). Overall, it was a great success, and the team is now looking forward to the fall racing season!


Dr. Personick & teammates


Dr. Personick 


Medals & Hat


Dr. Personick’s team 


Melton Lake in Oak Ridge, Tennessee


Melton Lake in Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Results: https://herenow.com/results/#/races

Pictures: https://www.row2k.com/gallery/index.cfm?year=2021&category=Masters%20Nationals

* Letters indicate the average age of the crew: AA = 21-26, A = 27-35, B = 36-42